WirePOLITICS: Senate passes Children of Fallen Heroes Act

Tom Waring, the Wire

U.S. Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick (R-8th dist.) released the following statement regarding the Senate’s passage of the Children of Fallen Heroes Act — the companion legislation to his measure in the House of Representatives:

“As we prepare to recognize the service and sacrifice of law enforcement officers in this upcoming National Police Week, it is fitting that the Senate took bipartisan action to advance legislation to support the children of our fallen heroes. No compensation can make up for their loss, but by providing a more solid footing for future education we are adding another level of assistance for the children and their families. I thank Sens. Casey and Toomey for their diligent work on securing this bill’s passage and urge my colleagues in the House to immediately take up this important measure.”

The Children of Fallen Heroes Act increases the amount of Pell Grant money available to qualifying students who are the children of fallen law enforcement officers, firefighters, EMS workers and fire police. If the child of a fallen first responder qualifies for Pell Grant aid, this bill would make the student eligible for the maximum Pell Grant award authorized by law, currently $5,730 per year for a full-time student. To qualify for a Pell Grant, students must demonstrate significant financial need. Nearly 75 percent of Pell Grant recipients have a family income of $30,000 or less. A similar benefit is provided for children of parents in the armed forces who were killed in Iraq or Afghanistan after Sept. 11, 2001.

Fitzpatrick has introduced the measure in both the 113th and 114th Congresses. It has 19 bipartisan House co-sponsors.

The bill is supported by the Fraternal Order of Police, International Association of Fire Fighters and Pennsylvania Fire Police Association.